Sheriff’s office mole leaks more records

 

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F-5

I have listened in disgust to the lies that were spewed by Sgt. Eubanks (sic) and Cpl. Ballew during the most recent interview by the Legendary regarding this matter…Because of this, I have decided to send these documents…just in case you need more documented proof of the lies being told by Sgt. Eubank with every word uttered… anonymous source

Waco, Texas – Those who were at the meeting remember it clearly. McLennan County’s corporate attorney Mike Dixon spoke over the speakerphone during a conference call.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara and Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon had argued for fighting the allegations of a federal civil rights lawsuit in which 9 employees were either dismissed outright, or their pay and job responsibilities diminished. They alleged they were punished for backing the wrong candidate in the Republican Primary of 2012, a violation of their First Amendment right freely to speak and to associate with those of their choosing; the top management of the Sheriff’s Office differed. As at-will employees, they were no longer needed in their former capacities, working to serve retired Sheriff  Larry Lynch, and the recently-defeated opponent, former Chief Deputy Randy Plemons.

They were sure they could win the lawsuit because the plaintiff’s attorney had been able to discover certain personnel records that only served the defense interest by opening the door to a defense effort to cross examine witnesses for the plaintiffs about matters that would have otherwise been off the table.

Dixon advised County Commissioners not to do it as a “cost cutting” measure. In the conference phone call, according to anonymous sources, the lawyer gave a reason when prompted by the Sheriff. He said it was because of that “Chris Eubank s__t…” He sided with McLennan County’s defense representation supplied by the Texas Association of Counties. The settlement of $2 million, a $375,000 deductible for which was transferred from a “contingencies” line item from the General Fund, was to be considered much cheaper.

It was an enigmatic reference to we of The Legendary, until this weekend, when for the second time a deep undercover mole inside the Sheriff’s Office came forward with records that reveal in black and white exactly what “that Chris Eubank” – stuff – is all about. It shows that what Sgt. Eubank recently called a lie regarding his reportedly unauthorized disposal of a government document is actually quite true.

In the packet of information we received, the Sergeant makes a sworn, notarized statement to the effect that he did, in fact, tell an assistant who worked for him at the time  to withhold an official report of dismissal for misconduct or negligence.

In that particular transaction, he stated that he disposed of the permanent record of the event that was prepared for the state licensing bureau for peace officers, a report to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement called a Form F-5, by shredding it. He earlier rebutted in a follow-up interview that statement, calling it a lie, when it was reported in these columns.

On 21 February 2014, he wrote in an official statement, “Later that day, Kim King brought the paperwork back up to my office and sat (sic) it on my desk and told me she did not know what to do with it. She left it on my desk. The paperwork that she left on my desk was the memorandum from Captain Kolinek with some papers either stapled or paper-clipped to it. This was the same paperwork that she had brought me earlier and said was a conflict if it was left in the file. At this time, I discarded the paperwork by shredding it.”

Former Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon, a retired Texas Ranger, has alleged his actions constitute grounds for prosecution as a felony for tampering with an official document.  Reached for comment with this new revelation, he said that he agreed with the action of allowing the employee to resign instead of facing dismissal for misconduct because it was ultimately a decision for Sheriff Parnell McNamara. However, said Cawthon, “I didn’t tell him to shred the document. That is a felony crime.”

Such documents must remain in the department’s files, he explained. There are numerous other statements included, such as the one from Capt. Shawn Lippe, who stated in writing that Cpl. King told him in the presence of then-Chief Cawthon that “when Robinson PD came to look at Spencer’s file during a background check they did not get to see the IA (internal affairs) or any of the existing reports or statements made by Waco Police during that investigation due to Chris (Sgt. Eubank) having them removed from his personnel file.” He said he feels that is corroborated by the statement given by Investigator Kirby Culp of the Hewitt Police, who told him about “the prior existence of Hewitt PD disciplinary personnel files that had been deleted by Chris Eubank upon his promotion to supervisor, which gave him access to the files and their content to be deleted.”

He further stated that Cpl. King told he and Cawthon that Eubank had told her to shred the documents, not to show them to outsiders, and get rid of them because they “no longer exist.”

“I’m not getting handcuffs put on me because of him,” Cawthon allegedly said.

This incident is said to have disgusted Capt. Steve Smith to the extent that he walked off his job at the Sheriff’s Department with the intention of turning in a resignation, stayed away for a week, then returned after the Sheriff and Cawthon persuaded him to come back to work.

It is not the only example of fellow officers complaining that Eubank intimidated them about various recommendations or lack thereof in the case of officers so disciplined or investigated, passed over the employment, or promotion.

In an evaluation, Capt. Smith stated though “Eubank has a strong work ethic,” he “has exhibited conduct that conflicts with the way this department expects supervisors to act towards subordinates. Specifically, he has tried to push through things that he wants done by threats and name dropping, and he has said and done things that have made employees fear for their job without having a basis to do so…”

The attorney Mike Dixon revised an extensive memorandum of complaint prepared by Capt. Smith, excising numerous references to violations of department policies. The new document supplied by the anonymous source is unsigned over the Captain’s typed signature.

In one case, Cpl. King, who now works as an investigator at the McLennan County Jail, told others who attended a school of instruction at a remote location with people who work at other area law enforcement agencies that she is supposed to report any unlawful orders to the top management of the department, and that even if the Sheriff of his Chief Deputy orders her to commit unlawful acts, she should tell them no.

The report is signed by Lt. Chris Eubank.

The anonymous note received late this week concludes, While I don’t always agree with your opinions, I think it is important that you have this information because you are the only outlet with the balls to expose the problems within government.

CORRECTION: We regret that a quote mistakenly identified Matt Cawthon saying he didn’t want to get handcuffs placed on him because of then-Lt. Eubank’s altering and destroying permanent employment records. The statement was actually made by Matt Cunningham, who had been assigned as Eubank’s assistant when he took the place of Cpl. Kim King, who had been reassigned to the jail as an investigator. 

In our next installment, we will examine the records of statements made by high-ranking officers, investigators and clerical staff alleging multiple similar incidents and the resulting intimidation they felt from Eubank at the time.

– The Legendary

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